Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Tyranny of Words

Over on his blog, the earthy and effervescent Joe Abercrombie lays down some words about words, and the counting thereof:
These days, when first drafting, fearsome professional that I have become, I aim for 1,500 words a day, but I tend to settle for anything over a thousand.  It is possible of course, to smash out loads.  My best ever day is around 3,500ish, I think.  Other days getting a few hundred down is like pulling teeth.  I tend to be fastest with a big action scene, usually when I’m starting out a chapter and can dart from one bit to another, writing whatever snippets come to me, or I’ve thought about before, slapping down dialogue with broad strokes.  Later comes the more laborious work of gradually filling in the gaps between the more inspiring sections, and going over those sections to make sure they work, I haven’t frequently repeated myself or turned a sword into an axe without realising.  Often it’s the descriptive bits that I find take the most intensive effort.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Neal Stephenson : Reamde

The Mad Hatter has the skinny on Reamde, the new novel from Neal Stephenson:
Across the globe, millions of computer screens flicker with the artfully coded world of T'Rain - an addictive internet role-playing game of fantasy and adventure. But backstreet hackers in China have just unleashed a contagious virus called Reamde, and as it rampages through the gaming world spreading from player to player - holding hard drives hostage in the process - the computer of one powerful and dangerous man is infected, causing the carefully mediated violence of the on-line world to spill over into reality. A fast-talking, internet-addicted mafia accountant is brutally silenced by his Russian employers, and Zula - a talented young T'Rain computer programmer - is abducted and bundled on to a private jet. As she is flown across the skies in the company of the terrified boyfriend she broke up with hours before, and a brilliant Hungarian hacker who may be her only hope, she finds herself sucked into a whirl of Chinese Secret Service agents and gun-toting American Survivalists; the Russian criminal underground and an al-Qaeda cell led by a charismatic Welshman; each a strand of a connected world that devastatingly converges in T'Rain. An inimitable and compelling thriller that careers from British Columbia to South-West China via Russia and the fantasy world of T'Rain, Reamde is an irresistible epic from the unique imagination of one of today's most individual writers.
Because I have a thing for typeface I am irresistibly compelled to buy this book (although, oddly, I won't get to enjoy the cover because I'll buy it for my Kindle):

Reamde is set for release Sept 15th in the U.K. and Sept 20th in the U.S.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Malazan Re-read of the Fallen - MOI, Ch. 11, 12, 13

Amanda and Bill have compiled their thoughts and feelings about Chapters 11, 12, and 13 of Memories of Ice:
I almost can’t bear reading this section of the novel—it actually sickens me. Especially the idea of those women once being normal human beings, residing in villages and looking after their families. I think this quote is of particular importance, “There was a poison within the Pannion Seer and whatever god spoke through him. A poison that seemed born of familial memories. Memories powerful enough to dismember those most ancient of bonds. A child betrayed, perhaps.”
Oh my word. Lady Envy is kicking ass and taking names, isn’t she? “Three engagements, three broken armies, thousands dead, the rest attempting to flee but always caught by Lady Envy’s relentless wrath.”
Poor, poor Toc—practically dying on his feet as he approaches the Pannion Seer. And those scenes of torture chambers! Just too much. Erikson really is laying on the darkness in this chapter....
What is this Seer? A dead body animated by a living soul? Soul of whom? Is the Crippled God within the Pannion Seer? Or is it some other god? I’m noting once again that Toc’s new eye really allows him to see to the heart of everything that is mysterious and shrouded. [Bill: But is it Toc’s eye?]
Oooh! OOH! “Cold, that sorcery. The smell of ice on the wind—here are memories, ancient memories—whose?” Mention again that the Pannion Seer is connected in some manner to the Jaghut! And this is then reinforced by Toc’s sight of Tool and Lady Envy talking. Which Jaghut is it? Someone we have already met?